Positive Year for Zagorje: Number of Guests Increased by One Third

Daniela Rogulj

Krapina-Zagorje Mayor Zeljko Kolar has announced new investments in tourism for 2017, which includes three new hotels and ongoing discussions with foreign investors about building a large tourist camp.

Lokalni.hr reports on January 16, 2017 that in Krapina-Zagorje County, the number of tourist arrivals increased by 31%, while overnight stays increased by as much as 39%. With the opening of new facilities over the last year, arrivals and overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by almost 50%. 

At an advantage being only 30 kilometers away from Zagreb, Zagorje is full with a variety of offers for tourists in a small space. “There is nowhere else in Europe with such a small area containing so many castles and other monuments of architecture. There are thermal springs and spas, we are developing medical tourism with small private clinics emerging, especially in dental medicine, and there is the hospital of Sveta Katarina in Zabok which is becoming increasingly known to athletes. We have pilgrim tourism in Marija Bistrica, and of course, an excellent wine and gastronomic offer,” says head of the Tourist Board Ksenija Tomic.

In addition to the project “Flavors of Zagorje” which currently includes 14 restaurants although increasing this year, the Tourist Board has big plans for equestrian tourism – including marking 60 kilometers of equestrian trails that will be certified, and the remodeling of four rest areas with restaurants and equestrian clubs with horse rentals.

“We are planning a study trip to a travel agency that specializes in equestrian tourism, and we will have education and OPG’s and individuals who wish to engage in this form of tourism. We also closely cooperate with the Croatian Equestrian Federation,” added Ksenija Tomic. 

Furthermore, the outlet Sv. Ivan Začretje, which is visited by 1.4 million visitors, has opened a tourist information center, and a camp is being planned along the highway A2 Zagreb – Macelj where foreigners will be able to come throughout the year – not only stopping on their way to the sea or on a return from vacation.

The most loyal guests to Zagorje are Slovenes, followed by tourists from Germany, Poland, Korea, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Italy, and Israel. In 2016, there were 122,664 arrivals and 281,770 overnight stays. For bathing the number of visitors increased from 533,007 to 608,731, and attendance to museums also increased. The national shrine of Marija Bistrica last year was visited by 1,022,000 pilgrims, and the year before by only 812,000 pilgrims, which is an increase of 26%.

“This year should be even better because of the investment in tourism – which includes the construction of three hotels, and ongoing talks with foreign investors about building a large camp,” said Mayor Zeljko Kolar. Kolar added that he also expects to meet the goal of the master plan of tourism for KZŽ, which includes one million overnights per year through 2025. 

Krapina-Zagorje County, according to the tourist results of the twelve continental counties, holds second place. The first is occupied by Karlovac County, thanks largely to Plitvice Lakes.


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